Marvel has been known to start off an epic event with a incredible issue and the fall apart quickly. Not since "Civil War" and "House of M" has Marvel produced a saga that actually enticed us through-out. But, as Hickman has shown in this issue, the plan for what the future of the Marvel universe has been planned out for years and he finds a way to place us in the middle of the action without letting us see what happened before. This is the world of Secret Wars and this is the planet known as "battleworld".
By the end of the first issue of Secret Wars, the Marvel universe had become a blank slate and Secret Wars is a blank canvas that he can go wild in, and, while I have more questions than answered at this point, I'm absolutely giddy to see where all this goes. The final pages are fantastic, the cliffhanger is ominous, and there is still one hell of a big brawl coming. We start to see all the pieces of the puzzle taking place and all the characters being placed on the giant chessboard, but we also know that this is just the beginning and more pieces will be placed shortly. What also adds to the brilliance of the story is that we may feel we know these characters from our history, but we truly do not. Who is actually a hero of this world and who is a villain? Will any sides be crossed or will everyone stay and welcome the universe of (spoilers) God Doom. In addition, this story stems from all things Marvel and While the surface is packed with dramatic conflict and intriguing ideas, the details underneath reward fans who have followed Marvel in laying the foundation. We see characters that we haven't seen in years, as well as some new faces that we can just discern their true intentions. The issue also opens the door to the many crossovers that will be appearing in the coming weeks, as we can see the landscape of Battleworld being drawn and the conflicts that will be presented as one region chooses to do battle with another region against the orders of "God Doom". This issue is truly the start of the new Marvel universe, and readers need to get in on the groundfloor to see what the future holds. Have faith in Hickman because he has rarely let us down. I give this issue a 9 out of 10 and I can't wait to see where Secret wars takes us next.